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HR from the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business Hardcover – March, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"recommend you pick up a copy." -- Charlotte Area SHRM, Tim Taylor, SPHR, President

Book Description

"Human resources professionals are entrusted, perhaps more than any other corporate designates, with the well-being of their organization’s population. They bridge the gaps between the individual and the collective, the person and the purpose. The most successful and effective HR professionals see their careers as a calling, and their work, though driven by corporate goals, is graced by a sense of purpose, a profound generosity, and a love for what they do and the constituencies they serve.

HR from the Heart is a book for HR practitioners who love their jobs -- or want to. Libby Sartain, one of the country’s top human resources executives, reveals how HR professionals create a synergy between business objectives and the needs and wants of employees. This inspiring book is equal parts motivational message and how-to, confessional and career guide. Filled with stories from Sartain’s considerable experience, HR from the Heart offers a first-hand perspective on forging relationships, selling HR to the company, taking diversity beyond ""by the book,"" keeping policy in perspective, and more -- all while making the right career moves, staying engaged, and forwarding the strategic goals of the company."


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 3 edition (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814407560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814407561
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John P Bernat on October 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I write this on the day Rodney Dangerfield died. Fitting.

I've worked in the HR field for 25 years, and never once read a book that so correctly summarized the true purpose of HR work.

I've seen people enter this field because "they like people," or because they cannot get a church to appoint them as a minister, or because they don't like math. I've also seen many HR practitioners sink into a morass of self-absorption, cynicism, despair or xenophobia. How can a reasonable person spend their life's work "fighting with management" with no consciousness of that proposition's essential irony: if you are in HR, you ARE in management.

Dave Ulrich told us ten years ago that HR had to add value by delivering business results. OK, we get that part. Libby Sartain tells us practical, down-to-earth things we need to know to get those results, retain our self-respect, and experience the sheer joy of seeing our work result in wonderful customer service.

To see what Libby has accomplished, watch the cable series on airlines. Watch what the front-line Southwest Airlines people do habitually, casually: show compassion, empathy and humor to people whom you would swear were the last to deserve it. She correctly credits Herb Kelleher with creating a customer service company which happens to fly people around.

See the power of excellent HR brought to life. Read this book. We get the respect we deserve; Libby tells us how to earn it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is relevant for non-HR executives as well. First, Ms. Libby Sartain shared critical decision making in her personal career development path (e.g. changing employers). Second, she didn¡¦t talk about HR in isolation. It was about HR in the big picture of business (e.g. how HR can create values for subjects that top management cares about).

There were experiences of Southwest Airlines, and Yahoo ! ¡K not consultants¡¦ high-sounding but unproven concepts. The book covered different HR-related situations; for example, emergency, performance review, firing people. There were sharing of HR-best practices, as well as interesting topics like internal brand promises.

Ms. Libby Sartain looks like the enlightened style HR professionals, not the bureaucratic type. This leads to more relaxing reading. She was outspoken, e.g. towards consultants, lawyers. Besides she is not the preacher type: she believes HR is important, but it is not the single driver of the company.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Libby and Martha have written an excellent book reflecting the learnings of many years of HR Experience. For those with lots of experience and a caring heart, you will reflect on your HR career and say "hey, that's what I've learned in 20 years." There are good ideas on how to be a strategic and caring leader that will help you be more successful.
For those newer to HR, the book will provide insights that may prevent you from making the same mistakes that us older folks have made. There are also insights on managing your HR career.
I would also recommend the book to CEO and other high-level Execs that 1) want more from their HR department or 2) don't know what they want or what HR can be.
The book is well written and inspirational. Thanks to the authors.
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Format: Hardcover
If you're employed in the human resources field, you'll get a lot out of this book. You'll enjoy a conversation about a wide range of relevant topics with someone who's become a sort of legend in the human resources (HR) field. If you're not in HR, thinking about going into HR, or related to someone in HR, this book will have less value for you.
That said, we must appreciate that a book written in one specialty field may also have value for professionals in another field. While many of the stories and perspectives won't be germane for marketing people, financial folks, or sales professionals, there are some cross-functional lessons to be learned. Although the book is obviously intended for an HR audience, it will have value for people in other professions in the corporate world.
Over the course of 44 chapters, Sartain, who gained fame as Vice President of People for Southwest Airlines, shares her experiences-and some advice-with readers. She shows how valuable HR can be to an organization and how meaningful a career HR can be. This volume will be powerfully reinforcing for people in the field, describing some of the ups and downs and lessons of the author's experience. Anyone contemplating entering the field-or debating about staying in HR-should read these pages.
Readers will gain a better understanding of what Sartain did to build her career, as well as where things didn't go so well. This is not a touchy-feely gushy book as the title might imply, but a realistic report that confronts a wide range of issues in the profession head-on. The chapters are full of advice, some presented directly and some inferred by the lessons learned by the author.
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Format: Hardcover
I discovered "HR from the Heart" while searching for ideas and a fresh perspective that would hopefully trigger a professional renewal within me. I own many excellent books on HR issues and competencies, but this one offered some of the best career counseling I could have found anywhere.

Libby Sartain spoke to me as a long-time friend (I have also been criticized for laughing too loud and enjoying my work too much). She shares a vision and perspective for her work. She also speaks with knowledge, professionalism, care and passion for her role in HR and the people she serves. Furthermore, she cares enough to straighten out a fellow professional who might have spent the remainder of his career gaining competence, but never knowing a sense of joy, enthusiasm or mission in his work.

"HR from the Heart" has moved me from "doing a good job" to a professional career that embodies the only work I want to do. Whether you love your career in HR or seek purpose beyond the next paycheck--I enthusiastically recommend this book to HR professionals.
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